National News

Quackery and unsterilized instruments threaten lives

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The Chairman of Patients’ Rights Forum, Dr. Noor Mehar, has informed that over 600,000 quacks are operating freely across the nation. He reiterated a passage of SOR 504, a law passed by the federal government on March 9, 2015 decreeing that all medical devices in any medical field including dental clinics, should be sterilized. Despite this law, thousands of dental clinics operate without any sterilization process.

Dr. Noor urged the Health Department to evolve a mechanism to regularly inspect such businesses in order to reduce the spread of serious diseases such as hepatitis B and C.

On the other hand, it is also high time that the perpetual issue of quackery is addressed. Many countries have resorted to training quacks and legitimizing them. A lot of arguments are raised against this solution as people believe legalizing quackery will only promote it and devalue the honorable medical profession.

The idea of legitimising quacks by training them is also however, very appealing, as quacks already cater to a substantial proportion of the Pakistani population.

Qualified doctors rarely choose to work in remote villages due to lack of a good income, so they are often unavailable or unreachable. Training quacks to perform basic health treatments will fulfill the need of qualified clinicians in rural areas. Training quacks will also help reduce the incidence of deaths due to errors and incorrect diagnoses.

However, only those quacks should be trained who possess at least primary level education and genuinely wish to promote health and welfare, not those whose purpose is to deceive patients and plunder wealth.

February 20, 2017

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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